This past weekend I finally felt ready to swallow some pride and go get my ass handed to me in some BGs. The result… I didn’t fare as bad as I thought I would. While I was by no means a “force” in the BGs, I didn’t feel like a punching bag either.
Although I’m still stumbling around trying to find my way, I feel like I’m headed in the right direction. The following are some tips and suggestions which I’d like to offer up, in hopes that they may help some of you overcome difficulties or trepidation. Albeit a humbling experience right now, competing in BGs is a great way to learn the 4.0.1 hunter and find out what your weaknesses are.
As I’ve mentioned, a lot of this info is subject to change in the coming weeks, but I’ll try to update as it does. In the meantime, these posts will be more like notes & progress reports, rather than guides.
My BM PvP Build in 4.0.1
Here’s the build I’m using: Gar’s 4.0.1 BM PvP Build
Blizz doesn’t give us much flexibility with the new 31 point talent trees, which means we have very few options when speccing. The upside to this is that it’s far less possible to create a “bad” spec these days. There are a couple of talents you may want to adjust more to your play-style and liking, but overall this is a pretty universally sound BM PvP build.
The only two talents I would consider messing with would be Spirit Bond and Hunter vs. Wild. Personally, I love both of these talents for PvP, not to mention the larger health pool provided by Hunter vs. Wild helps out with the size of the Spirit Bond ticks. As for where you could put those points… Improved Mend Pet would be the logical choice. I elected to go without it, but having the 25%-50% chance of DoT cleanse would be a benefit. Pets can get blown up pretty easily right now if you’re not careful.
4.0.1 BM PvP Glyphs
Prime BM PvP Glyphs
These are not set in stone, but here’s what I’ve decided to go with at the moment…
- Arcane Shot – Harder hitting Arcanes – definitely not a bad idea.
- Kill Command – Shaves a tiny bit of focus off the cost. Still on the fence about this one, but I like being economical with the focus.
- Kill Shot – If your target’s still standing after Kill Shot, then they get to eat another one. Helps to give you the last word.
Major BM PvP Glyphs
- Bestial Wrath – Lowers the cooldown on big red.
- Deterrence – More opportunities for Deterrence, especially when combined with the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimaera talent.
- Disengage – Pretty much a must-have glyph for hunter PvP. Also works well with the talent mentioned above.
Minor BM PvP Glyphs
- Feign Death – A very important minor glyph.
- Mend Pet – Insurance for pet happiness.
- Scare Beast – Make those pesky Feral Druids run to the hills.
4.0.1 BM PvP Pets
Devilsaurs provide the 5% crit buff, plus a 25% healing debuff. These things are PvP machines. What’s even better, the Monstrous Bite (25% healing debuff) is currently stacking with Widow Venom (25% healing debuff), providing us with a 50% healing debuff on our kill targets! Good stuff indeed.
My PvP companion of choice right now. Roar of Courage (155 agility & strength buff) + Spirit Mend (personal ghetto pocket-heals), makes for an ideal PvP sidekick. I also just love the fact that Spirit Beasts rock in 4.0.1!
Now… here’s the really cool part… Along with our fancy expanded stable, complete with 4 active pets (5 in cataclysm), we have a handy new Call Pet feature. The Call Pet feature allows us to swap out pets as often as we want, just so long as we’re not in combat. Because of this, we can do things like…
Start a BG with our Devilsaur, then swap him out for our Core Hound when we want the heroism/bloodlust boost. Once the buff’s been used, we can go back to using our Devilsaur’s healing debuff, or maybe we want to add some survivability… then we grab our Spirit Beast for the heal. Also, let’s say you need a heal, but there’s no healer in sight and you’re out of bandages or potions… no problem… just dismiss your current pet, whip out your Spirit Beast, cast Spirit Mend, dismiss him, then call your other pet.
We can also stack our pet buffs. For example, you could whip out your Spirit Beast, cast Roar of Courage on yourself (Spirit Mend too, if needed), Dismiss him, then bring out your Devilsaur, thus benefiting from the 155 agility (Roar of Courage) and 5% crit buffs – allowing for 45 seconds or so of BM ass-kickery!
In other words, we can really get creative with our pets’ new on-use abilities and buffs.
Improved Revive Pet 2.0
Let’s say your pet dies in the heat of battle, gimping you something fierce, but you manage to survive… Problem is, you only have a few seconds between now and when the next assault comes. We no longer have Improved Revive Pet, so how are you going to Revive your pet, heal him up and try to get him at full happiness for the next battle..? Well, you’re not… Revive Pet is a 10 second cast.
What you do is… cast Revive Pet for 1 second, interrupt it, then Call Pet #2, #3 or #4.
Reviving for a second or mounting up resets your Call Pet, enabling you to swap out pets even if your current pet’s dead. Basically, once your pet’s corpse has despawned, your free to grab another pet. If your pet dies, try Feigning Death, reviving/interrupt or mounting up, then calling another pet. Unless you’re being attacked, this works like a charm. In 1.5 seconds you have a fresh pet who’s combat ready. 😀 Later on in the battle, when you know there’s a break in the action, then you can go revive your pet and heal him up.
Mounting up is a good way to switch pets anyway, as it shaves .5 seconds off the time. Dismiss pet is a 2 second cast, where as a mount is only 1.5 seconds. Either way, Call Pet still must be performed out-of-combat, which means using a mount to do it is a good option.
Note: If your Call Pet macro isn’t working, it’s because you need to specify which slot, e.g., Call Pet 1. You can assign modifiers to bring out different pets.
This macro will call your various pets:
/cast [nopet] Call Pet 1
/cast [nopet][mod:shift] Call Pet 2
/cast [nopet][mod:alt] Call pet 3
/cast [nopet][mod:ctrl] Call Pet 4
This is the all-in-one macro that I’m still using, edited for 4.0.1:
/cast [modifier:shift] Revive Pet; [@pet,dead] Revive Pet; [nopet] Call Pet 1; Mend Pet
Charge and Dash Issues…
Right now there are issues with Charge and Dash. You can learn both of the spells, but after your pet is dismissed for whatever reason (e.g., death, pet swap, mounting up, …), Charge or Dash will disappear from your spell book. This is a huge pain in the ass, because as Beast Masters we need fast pets. Losing Charge means we have one less root and gap-closer, and without Dash our pets are slow as hell.
I’ve tried the three aforementioned BM pets, so I can tell you that Devilsaurs and Core Hounds both keep Charge, but lose Dash. Spirit Beasts lose Charge, but keep Dash. This should be fixed soon, but in the meantime, make sure to talent your BM PvP pets with Boar’s Speed. We gotta have that added speed in order to maintain pressure. If our pets aren’t in melee range, then we can’t use Kill Command and they can’t chomp away on our enemies.
Right now it’s looking like these three pets are your best bet for PvP companions, but I will be checking out other options in the next week or two. I have a Silithid and Chimaera in the stable, am on the hunt for Grubthor, and am excited about the possibility of bashing Shaman and Druids off of cliffs and bridges with a Rhino. 😀 All in good time.